Royaumont: Voix Nouvelles 2016

I arrived at the abbey at Royaumont almost three weeks ago for the storied Voix Nouvelles program where I received the opportunity, along with 13 other talented composers to compose for different instrumental configurations made up of the amazing ensembles Talea  and EXAUDI. I was asked to write a piece for the six members of EXAUDI who were at the residency: Natalie Raybould (soprano), Lucy Goddard (mezzo), Tom Williams (countertenor), Stephen Jeffes (tenor), Gareth John (baritone), and Simon Whiteley (bass). The past two weeks of rehearsals and hang has been incredible and extremely fun. The food’s been fantastic and the weather nearly perfect. Today (September 7) is my birthday and the best present I could ask for will the exciting premiere of SAFE on Friday’s Voix Nouvelles concert! If you’re around the Île de France area, come on by!

Manifeste-Academie 2016: Part 2, Ensemble intercontemporain

So, I’m actually back at home in sunny Oakland, California after spending a couple of weeks after Paris in Berlin and running around Norway. During the second week of the ManiFeste Academy, I had the supreme pleasure of working with some of the soloists of the Ensemble intercontemporain on a short piece called SKRWL for chamber ensemble. The soloists — Alain Billard, clarinets; Benny Sluchin, trombone; Hidéki Nagano, piano; Claire Merlet, viola; and Pierre Strauch, cello — were outstanding to work with. They were open to trying new things, giving me suggestions for how to improve certain playing techniques, and just in general, really laid back folks to work with. Benny was especially nice to work with as my trombone part transformed from the beginning of the week to the end. I also want to give a shout-out to composer Rebecca Saunders who was a generous and thoughtful rehearsal “coach,” sitting-in on all of the young composers’ rehearsals, offering her own suggestions and helping us to efficiently run our numerous rehearsals. It really was a treat and a luxury to work with these amazing people and present a concert with them at the end of the week. Overall, my experience at the ManiFeste Academy was enriching and enjoyable…every composer should try to attend  if they can.

Stay tuned for the recording of SKRWL on my SoundCloud (and on this site)!

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Manifeste-Academie 2016: Part 1, L’Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France

Last Saturday, June 25th, I had the pleasure of having had a piece read by one of the leading orchestras in Europe: l’Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France. Under the supervision of Beat Furrer and conducted by Dylan Corlay, the orchestra brought my short but intense piece, surface | division to life — more like set fire to it (in a good way). On Friday, July 1st, the soloists of Ensemble intercontemporain will perform my chamber piece SKRWL for clarinet(s), trombone, viola, cello, and piano. It’s great to be back in Paris and to work with this marvelous musicians!!!

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Duo Cortona & the Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project

Duo Cortona_CUSP-March 2016On Saturday, March 19, Duo Cortona will perform If only after you then me as part of a program hosted by the Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project (CUSP), Princeton’s newest concert series dedicated to the elevation of modern art song composition. It will be performed alongside pieces by Kerrith Livengood, Kamala Sankaram, and Jeremy Rapaport-Stein as well as world premieres by Laura Schwendinger and Thomas J. Dempster.

You can find more info and a link to tickets at the CUSP Facebook event page.

Artist Delegation to Cuba: American Composers Forum at the Havana Contemporary Music Festival

After some time to reflect, I just want to say that my trip to Cuba with the American Composers Forum was one of the most fun and insightful, fulfilling and gnarliest experiences I’ve had as a composer and musician. It was an honor and a privilege to have been given this opportunity and I am so grateful to have met and worked with the members of Ensemble Third Sound (Thank you to Sooyun Kim, Michael Nicolas, and Karen Kim!) as well as the other fantastic composers and the ever-supportive patrons. I loved the late-nights, the warm conversation, and the even warmer weather. And most of all, my thanks to the hospitality and the generosity of the country that is Cuba and the city that is Havana—you’re crazy, I like you.


NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas writes an account of the Third Sound concert which saw the premiere of my piece Inexpressible v. 2 !

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN contributing editors Larry and Arlene Dunn give their experience of the concert and the trip!


Festival Musica 2015 & OPHELIA

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From September 26 to October 3, I participated in the 2015 edition of the Festival Musica in Strasbourg, France as a participant of the Academy created and overseen by my former mentor Philippe Manoury. Philippe and I go way back to my undergraduate years at UC San Diego but I hadn’t seen him since 2006. I won’t bore you with the boring details of my trip, suffice to say that I thoroughly loved Strasbourg and met some awesome locals (you know who you are 😉 ) in addition to my talented colleagues in the academy. I was able to work closely with the amazing Ensemble Linea, directed by Jean-Philippe Wurtz, who rehearsed and performed by piece OPHELIA. Her heart is a clock for ten musicians. I was also able to spend some time with Philippe and the other composer-in-residence Hanspeter Kyburz, a Swiss composer of colorful and dramatic music.

One of the best parts of the festival was being able to room and hang with my good friend Ricardo Eizirik, an amazing multimedia artist and composer whom I met at the Impuls Academy in Graz, Austria three years ago now. Since then, I’ve been able to see him and hang at music festivals in Europe and it was a pleasure and a surprise to see him at Musica.

IMG_0723At the final concert of the academy, I was named “Academy Laureate” and granted a commission by the festival for a new work to be premiered at next year’s festival. I am extremely honored and grateful to have been given this opportunity and I’m so stoked to return to Strasbourg.